U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today cosponsored the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) of 2013, which would ensure that victims of domestic violence and sexual assault are provided access to programs that will keep them safe from harm and victimization. This bill was reintroduced by Senator Leahy (D-VT) and Senator Crapo (R-ID). The Senate is expected to consider this legislation as soon as next week.
"Domestic violence remains a real issue across our country, and it is truly important that its victims have access to the services they need and deserve," said Johnson. "I am confident that the Senate will again pass this bipartisan legislation and hope this time the House will follow step."
VAWA helps provide the necessary resources to prosecute offenders, focus on prevention efforts and assist survivors of domestic violence. It has been expanded through the years to not only protect women from violence and sexual assault, but also stalking and dating violence. This most recent reauthorization includes provisions to provide adequate protection to American Indians. American Indian women are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of domestic violence and one in three will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in their lifetime.
Last congress, the Senate passed the VAWA reauthorization with a supermajority, but the bill did not pass in the House of Representatives.
Johnson has been a consistent cosponsor of VAWA legislation, dating back to the original bill which was passed in 1994.